The two-alarm fire that wrecked the entrance of the historic St. Luke and St. Matthew Episcopal Church in Clinton Hill may be the work of an arsonist. Rev. Chris Ballard yesterday reiterated his statement that cans of gas were used to start the blaze, telling the NY Times, "Somebody decided to take those canisters, dump them on the doors of the church and set the gas on fire. We don’t know why someone would do this, what darkness is in someone’s heart."

Luckily, it appears that only the vestibule and entrance were damaged—the church credited the FDNY's response. The church had been a center for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts run by Occupy Sandy. Rev. Michael Sniffen said, "Sometimes when they volunteer, going out to the Rockaways or places that are still without power or houses that have been gutted, they would then bring a gas can with them to power the generators." The gas cans involved in the fire were meant to be used for a Christmas party in the Rockaways.

City Councilwoman Letitia James said, "There are surveillance cameras on both angles on this block and so after the police review those video tapes, I'm sure we will apprehend this sick, demented individual." Sniffen added to MyFoxNY, "Fire is also cleansing and I think we're going to come through this stronger than we were."

The church wrote on its website, "In the early morning of Sunday, Dec. 23rd, our church suffered a serious fire. The severity of the damage is still being assessed. We have received an enormous amount of heartfelt support from our community near and far. We are deeply grateful. We may suffer physical damage, but we are not deterred. Please join us Monday, Dec. 24th at 10pm for a special Christmas Eve service in the Church."